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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

INJUSTICE  TO  FIGHTERS          253

themselves interest and to repay themselves their
debt.

This subsequent taxation falls on them all alike
in proportion to their ability to pay, or would if the
-income tax was more equitably imposed ; those who
have subscribed their fair share to the loans have an
offset, in the interest that they receive, against the
taxation; those who subscribed less are properly
penalised, those who subscribed more are properly
benefited. If only the income tax did not make the
position of fathers of families so unjust, the whole
arrangement would look, at first sight, quite fair,
though rather absurd and clumsy, involving all this
subscribing and taxing and paying back instead of an
outright tax and having done with it. But in fact
a very grave inequity is involved by this business of
borrowing for war, and laid upon just the people
whom we ought, above all, to treat most fairly,
namely, those who fight for us. The soldiers and
sailors risk their lives for a pittance during the war,
while their brothers and sisters and cousins and
uncles and aunts, left at home in security and com-
fort, earn bloated profits and wages, and put them,
or part*of them, into War Loans; then when the
fighters come back, very likely with their business
and connection ruined or lost, they are expected to
contribute to the taxation that goes into the pockets
of debt-holders,

Inflation, the third method of paying for war,
again produces the same effect of a reduction of
consumption by the civilian population, but in a
roundabout manner, which works at first without